Sabih

I’m finally blogging!  The last few weeks it has been 90+ degrees out almost nonstop and cooking has not sounded like fun.  Salads, cheese and crackers, smoothies have been my meals.  I did cook a couple of times, even photographed my efforts but nothing was blog worthy.  My lasagna wasn’t bad.  The blueberry muffin bread was okay.  But neither was good (or bad!) enough to share.  My dinner last night however, fantastic!

Sabih with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and a tahini and chili dipping sauce!

Sabih with a side of roasted sweet potatoes and a tahini and chili dipping sauce!

Several of my posts have been recipes from the cookbook Jerusalem.  I was initially drawn to the cookbook for the beautiful photography, the pictures made my mouth water!  I was a bit intimidated by the recipes because they seemed long and involved.  Additionally I wasn’t familiar with a lot of the ingredients.  I dove in though and despite the long and seemingly complicated recipes with a whole new set of flavors for my palate – I’ve found the book accessible and rewarding.  In addition, I love the forward to each recipe.  It’s a little cultural history that makes me even more excited to try the recipe.

Sabih, a street food that was originally developed by Iraqi Jews who settled near Tel Aviv in the 1950s, draws on influences throughout the Middle East.  The best part about it (for me) is that all of the components can be prepared in advanced and easily assembled for a quick dinner.

Okay – enough rambling, let’s get to the food!  Over the weekend I prepared all of the pieces of the recipe.  I first cut the eggplant in strips and sprinkled them with salt and left them alone while I got to work on my chopped salad, dipping sauces and  hard-boiled eggs.  A simple chopped salad of tomato, cucumber, green onion, parsley (from my garden!), lemon juice and olive oil.  The sauces are a bit time-consuming but they make the dish.

Condiments!!

Condiments!!

The recipe calls for mango pickle, which I didn’t have but I did have pilpelchuma, a chili garlic (20 cloves) paste that I had made (red/brown on left).  On the top is a tahini sauce.  Finally I made Zhough, a fresh, herby, spicy paste.

After all the sauces I got back to my eggplant.  I took a paper towel to gently wipe off the excess salt then I pan-fried them in sunflower oil until soft.  At this point it was close to eleven on Sunday night so I packaged everything up, went to bed and looked forward to dinner all day on Monday.

Assembly was a breeze.  I put a pita in my toaster oven and topped with a layer of eggplant, I only toasted for a couple of minutes, long enough to take the chill off but not actually cook.  I peeled and quartered my egg.  I pulled the rest of the ingredients out of the fridge.  Stack stack stack!

Ready to stack!

Ready to stack!

There was about half of the tahini sauce (tahini with lemon juice, garlic and water) left so I put a teaspoon of the red chili paste in and mixed it up.  It was perfect for some sweet potato wedges that I had roasted over the weekend.

A closer view

A closer view

So good.  I’m going to make myself round two right now.

Would anyone be interested in the detailed recipes for the red and/or green chili paste?  I can blog about those, there are so many uses but don’t want to bore you.

What is your favorite street food?

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Sunday Night Meal Prep

I have a busy week coming up.  Work, class, fun, and always the unexpected!  In order to make the week as stress-free as possible and not depend on take out, I decided to do a bunch of meal prep Sunday evening.  Food that didn’t need much assembly or much cooking (too hot to have the oven going!) was important.  This meant I was going to rely on- surprise, surprise- salads.  I found a couple of salads in The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman that I knew would last longer than a day or two, made some originals, and also picked up a few things at the store to supplement.

First up a Perelman recipe.  Vinegar slaw with cucumbers and dill.  I love dill in the summer and I really liked the simplicity of this recipe.  In addition, vinegar slaws tend to improve with time and they have a shelf life of up to a week.  Such simple ingredients!

Only Six Ingredients!

Only Six Ingredients!

I used a mandolin to shred one medium head of green cabbage and thinly slice one English cucumber.  I mixed those with two tbsp fresh dill.  Two tbsp kosher salt and four tsp were dissolved in 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and then 1/2 cup water was added and the dressing was mixed with the veggies.

Cucumber Slaw

Cucumber Slaw

I tasted this after about an hour, I’m sure with time it will get better and better.  It was a bit salty and on further inspection I saw a side note on the recipe that the salt should be cut down unless Diamond brand kosher salt was used.

Onto the second Perelman recipe- sugar snap salad with miso dressing.  I already had miso paste in the fridge from last week’s chopped salad so I figured I’d give this one a try.  All the veggie ingredients gathered up.

I used savoy cabbage instead of the napa the recipe called for

I used savoy cabbage instead of the napa the recipe called for

Three tbsp toasted sesame seeds (I only had black on hand), three green onions, 1/2 lb sugar snap peas, and four radishes.  I boiled the peas for two minutes and then put them in an ice bath before cutting them thin on a bias.  I quartered and thinly sliced the radish, sliced the green o’s, and shredded the cabbage.  For the dressing, into the blender went- 1 tbsp minced ginger, 2 cloves garlic, 2 tbsp mild miso paste, 2 tbsp tahini, 1 tbsp honey, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, 2 tbsp sesame oil, and 2 tbsp olive oil.  Mix with the veggies and it is good to go.  Again with a vinegar based dressing- this one will last a few days.

Sugar Snap Salad

Sugar Snap Salad

I really enjoyed this salad- the peas add a natural sweetness.  I’m looking forward to eating this all week.

In addition to the salads made humus and chopped carrots for snacks and side dishes.  I do a pretty basic humus- one 15 oz can garbanzo beans plus 1/4 cup of the liquid, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp tahini, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, a dash of paprika, and a dash of cumin.

I made tuna salad for sandwiches or as a topper for greens.  I like wild albacore in extra virgin olive oil.  The oil adds more fat than water packed tuna but it also adds moisture so not as much mayo is needed.  My tuna is mixed with an equal ratio of tuna and veggies.  I throw in whatever I have on hand.  This time was yellow pepper, carrot, red onion, and pickles.  Two to one mayo to mustard ratio.

Next up I prepped bags of fruit and veggies for my whole juice smoothies in the morning.

Tomorrow's Juice!

Tomorrow’s Juice!

Beet juice is my current favorite.  Mixed with apple, carrot, and fresh ginger.  I mix this with water and ice for juice in the morning.  I have five bags in the freezer waiting for me this week.

To round out my prep I hard-boiled some eggs and washed some cherries.  I was going to bake tofu like I did with the chopped salad but I found some already marinated tofu on sale at the grocery store, so I made it easy on myself.

Ready for the Week

Ready for the Week

I almost forgot.  While doing all of this prep I made some sun tea in the backyard (back right).  With the addition of some bread, salad greens, and maybe some bacon and cheese, I’m all set for the week!

Do you prep food for the week?  What are some of your meal prep ideas to last a few days?